Lancaster is a town in Erie County, New York, United States, centered 14 miles east of downtown Buffalo. Located within the town is the village of Lancaster and the eastern half of the village of Depew. Depew’s western half lies within the town of Cheektowaga. Once known as a small town with a small town atmosphere, Lancaster has, in recent years, evolved into a suburban community. In the early 1990s, the town entered a period of rapid growth, with much development in the southern and eastern parts of the town. The William Street Intermediate School opened in the southern part of town in the mid-1990s, and in 2003, the town and village police departments merged. Additions to the middle school and the William Street School to accommodate rising enrollment were finished in 2005.
The town of Lancaster contains several historic buildings, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings include the Warren Hull House, the Lancaster District School No. 6, and many of the Village of Lancaster’s Multiple Property Submission properties, including the Bruce-Briggs Brick Block, Clark-Lester House, DePew Lodge No. 823, Free and Accepted Masons, US Post Office-Lancaster, Lancaster Municipal Building, Liebler-Rohl Gasoline Station, Miller-Mackey House, Dr. John J. Nowak House, Herman B. VanPeyma House, John Richardson House, Zuidema-Idsardi House and the John P. Sommers House. The twelve latter properties are located within the Village of Lancaster.
The town is home to Lancaster High School and five operating elementary schools; Como Park, Court Street, Hillview, John A. Sciole (which is actually located on the Cheektowaga side of the village of Depew), and the former Central Avenue Elementary School. It also includes the William Street Intermediate School (4th, 5th and 6th grades), and the historic Lancaster Middle School (formerly named Aurora Middle School), which was the town’s high school prior to the construction of the current one in 1953. They are all part of the Lancaster Central School District. There are also a number of private schools, including St. Mary’s High School, St. Mary’s on the Hill Elementary, and the now closed Our Lady of Pompeii Elementary.
The Lancaster Central School District is the largest school district in population in Erie County with one high school. The district serves most of the town and village, including a large majority of the northern part of the village of Depew, on both the Lancaster and Cheektowaga sides. The Depew Union Free School District serves most of the southern part of the village of Depew and almost none of the town or village of Lancaster.